on 9 February 2014
This is a patchy kung fu comedy co-production about a Korean family in Thailand. The family gets involved in drawn-out conflict with a gangster who steals a near-priceless artifact (a Royal dagger said to have special powers), and that's about the size of it.
I think that many of the jokey bits are embarrassingly weak. There's a dingdong against thugs in a kitchen involving support 'good guys' beautiful Mum Ye Ji Won and avuncular Phetthai Vonkumlao (also has credits as a Thai film director) which I enjoyed as being one of the funnier better-staged bits. Maybe Vonkumlao added ideas of his own here.
Tae-joo Na makes for a rather uncharismatic hero but physically gives his all as the son (who has to prove himself to onetime gold medal hopeful dad), often taking on the baddies including the virtually indestructible head villain (sporting male model cheekbones) single-handed. The girls are not left far behind in the action stakes either. The end credits reveal that several bad accidents occurred amongst the cast, Na not least, who performs some stunts involving elephants!
Jija (or Jeeja) Yanin, who scored such brilliant impact (in both senses) in Chocolate suffered serious neck fracture when filming the at least equally arduous Raging Phoenix. This probably explains why she has a minor role here.
Most disappointing is her highly anticipated but poorly edited rooftop fight against the chief henchwoman near the end. Even so, her improvised-style earlier action bit with a forked stick suggests an innate Jackie Chan wit and inventiveness. This is even
more evident in her back-in-business (all-Thai) 'Buster Keatonesque' This Girl is Badass, directed by co-star Vongkumlao (Wonghamlao on the imported DVD cover). Also released in 2011 but apparently still not available in the UK.
The Kick, tiresome and repetitive moments apart, is on occasion fair hand/foot-to-hand/foot entertainment with a largely unfamiliar game cast but in my view not a good example from the director of the thrilling and less overblown Chocolate etc.
on 3 September 2015
The aptly named movie. There is plenty of action the story is a little disjointed, ok to be honest it is just there as a break between fights. However this movie delivers in the action department, it is all about the kicks, flying, spinning or both. I don't particularly like Tae Kwan Do in the practical sense of the martial arts, but damn if it does not look great on camera.
The movie is well done, and almost looks real, by looking at the blooper reels most of the kicks looked real because they actually connected so they could get shot. This is a movie you sit back and enjoy the kick you and imagine and some you never even thought about.